With a noise rating of 50 dBA, it's a bit louder than other Bosch dishwashers on the market, but we didn't find the sound very noticeable during testing. For best stain removal results, we recommend using the Normal and Heavy cycles, which do a great job at getting rid of really tough stains.
If you want your dishwasher to look like it costs a lot more than it actually does, the Whirlpool WDT710PAHZ is the dishwasher for you. Its sleek matte stainless steel finish means that it is mostly resistant to fingerprint smudging, so it always looks brand new on the outside.
A thrifty shopper knows there’s always a balance to be struck between cost and performance: The sweet spot in between is where you get the most value.
With a bigger budget, you can buy a dishwasher with all the bells and whistles, but having a smaller budget doesn't mean you have to put up with inferior stain removal. You can skip the high-end features and still find an affordable dishwasher that does a great job cleaning dishes.
Here at Reviewed, we care about consumers finding great value, which is why we brought top-rated budget dishwashers into our labs to find which ones are worth purchasing and which should be avoided.
After testing the best affordable dishwashers, we found that the Beko DUT25401X (available at Appliances Connection) offers the most value for its price by a large margin. It gets dishes spotless, but it won't clean out your bank account.
Capacity: 14 place settings
Delayed start: Yes
Tub material: Stainless steel
Noise level: 48 dBA
Energy Star certified: Yes
The Beko DUT25401X offers excellent, energy-efficient performance and an incredibly low price tag.
During testing of its stain removal abilities, the DUT25401X hit slightly above average on its Normal cycle and slightly below average on its Quick cycle. When it came to this dishwasher’s Heavy cycle, it had a near-perfect score. It also performed well in drying tests, with every plate and glass coming out bone dry during its Normal cycle.
The DUT25401X uses far less energy and water than average in the three cycles we tested. In fact, Energy Star gives it its official certification and rates it one of its Most Efficient 2022 models.
We love the upper rack of the Beko DUT25401X for its usability. It features different tines for multiple dishes and offers an angled height adjustment. There are also two height-adjustable shelves/wine racks and an attached mini third rack.
There were some things about the DUT25401X we didn’t like, though. While the control panel’s LED display is easy to read, the power buttons are poorly designed. Also, it takes effort to push to make desired cycle selections. Still, the DUT25401X offers top-tier performance at a budget price.
One of the highest-value dishwashers for its price
The Hisense HUI6220XCUS dishwasher, sold exclusively at Lowe’s, is a great option for families looking for exemplary performance at an affordable price.
In addition to its fingerprint-resistant stainless steel exterior and adjustable upper rack, the HUI6220XCUS has a 15-minute Quick cycle—one of the fastest we’ve tested— and a Sanitize cycle for baby bottles and plastic toys.
This dishwasher has a few minor issues. The first is redeposit, specifically with the cutlery basket, which attracts food particles. Also, its controls were unintuitive, requiring you to press and hold selections.
Even with those drawbacks, the HUI6220XCUS offers a whole lot of cleaning power for a relatively low price.
The Whirlpool WDT730PAHZ dishwasher’s drying power is impressive—just about every dish we unloaded in our testing was bone dry.
This dishwasher performs best on the Normal cycle—it removes nearly 100% of the food stains, but it takes more than two hours to complete. While the Heavy cycle doesn’t take more time, it doesn’t handle tough stains as well as Normal. The 1-Hour cycle lives up to its name and finishes in about an hour. It isn’t as good at stain removal as Normal, but it successfully tackles less dirty dishes.
The Whirlpool WDT730PAHZ is a great budget option for people who primarily rely on the Normal cycle to deal with their dirty dishes.
Bosch has a great reputation for manufacturing quality dishwashers. The Bosch SHEM3AY52N lives up to the brand’s name—during testing, it impressed with its cleaning, quiet operation, and ability to dry dishes.
The SHEM3AY52N did a great job on tough stains using its Normal and Heavy cycles. It also has an option to raise the temperature of the final rinse, so your dishes are cupboard ready when the cycle is done. This dishwasher also has a small utility rack that sits atop the second rack that’s large enough for ladles, short glassware, or more cutlery. At 50 dBA, it’s a bit louder than other Bosch dishwashers, but the sound was not very noticeable during testing.
This dishwasher's control panel is basic —it has buttons on the front of the dishwasher that allow you to access different wash and cycle options. The buttons serve more than one purpose, too, so make sure to read the owner’s manual if you purchase the SHEM3AY52N.
While the SHEM3AY52N may not have as many features as dishwashers in the more expensive Bosch 300 series, it is a great option for someone who wants a Bosch but is on a strict budget. For those who have a little more to spend, it’s available in a stainless steel finish.
If you want your dishwasher to look like it costs a lot more than it actually does, the Whirlpool WDT710PAHZ is the dishwasher for you.
Its sleek matte stainless steel finish means that it is mostly resistant to fingerprint smudging, so it always looks brand new on the outside. On the inside, you'll find a couple of neat higher-end features that have migrated down to this price tier: the cutlery basket is mounted on the door, which frees up valuable real estate in the bottom rack, and there's a fan that turns on during most cycles and dries your dishes.
This dishwasher's strongest cycle is the Normal cycle, where it cleaned over 99 percent of the food stains and completely dried each dish, leaving no water residue behind. The Heavy and 1-Hour cycles didn't do as well when it comes to stain removal, however. Both the Heavy and Normal cycles take over two hours to finish.
For those who want luxury looks at a bargain price, though, you can't go wrong with the Whirlpool WDT710PAHZ.
The Frigidaire FGIP2468UF gives you plenty of options, if you need more from your dishwasher than a great Normal cycle.
In addition to water temperature options like Sanitize and High Temp, this dishwasher also has a number of extra cycles and cycle options (like China Crystal, Energy Saver, Top Rack Only, and more) that can deal with any dish scenario. It even has a built-in heater to expedite dish drying.
The FGIP2468UF did a great job of cleaning our test dishes, although, like most of the dishwashers we test, it stumbled a bit on the spinach stain. Thanks to the built-in heater, the dishes that came out sparkling clean were also perfectly dried.
The Frigidaire FGIP2468UF is a dishwasher that balances strong cleaning performance with neat features and cycle options.
Complete with a pocket handle and top-mounted control panel, the GE GDP645SYNFS dishwasher will net you some neat features without blowing holes in your budget. With steam options, a drying system consisting of a heating element and a fan, and bottle jets, this dishwasher is versatile enough to tackle most food stains.
The GDP645SYNFS did a great job of removing food soil, and with Dry Boost, all of our test dishes—whether they were ceramic or plastic—got 100% dry. However, Dry Boost is not a default setting, and without it, most of the dishes come out pretty wet. In our tests, when we added Dry Boost, it extended the Normal cycle time to about three hours.
If you don’t mind the long cycle times, though, you’ll appreciate all that the affordable GE GDP645SYNFS has to offer.
The Whirlpool WDF330PAHW is a good bare-bones dishwasher. It only has three cycles (Normal, Heavy, and 1-Hour), and the only extra cycle option you can select is heated dry, which turns on a heating element at the bottom of the dishwasher.
Like some of the other Whirlpool dishwashers on this list, your best bet for cleaning is the Normal cycle. During the Normal cycle, the Whirlpool WDF330PAHW was able to remove more than 97% of the food stains, and it completely dried every test dish except for one.
The racks do not have adjustable tines, so you may have trouble fitting large or awkwardly-shaped dishes, but if you prefer a streamlined, easy to operate interface, then the Whirlpool WDF330PAHW is both easy to use and great at cleaning.
Hi there! As Reviewed's former and current appliance testing team, we've spent many years testing major appliances in a controlled lab environment, but we also use them like normal people would in the course of their daily lives. All this means that we have a great sense for what appliances are bargains at their price points, and which appliances have really useful extra features.
Whether testing high-end dishwashers or models that cost less than $500, we focus on three major things: performance, features, and usability.
When considering a dishwasher’s performance, we look at stain removal prowess, cycle time, drying abilities, and redeposit, the term for when water jets remove food particles from dishes only to have the bits get stuck on other dishes.
No one wants to spend hundreds of dollars on a dishwasher that can't get your dishes clean. That’s why we test each dishwasher on the three main cycles—normal, heavy, and quick wash. We loaded dishes stained with tough-to-remove food particles—milk, spinach, egg, oatmeal, meat, and more. After each cycle, we determine how much stain has been removed from the dishes.
Features and Usability
When assessing features and usability, we look at the various cycles, cycle options, and dishwasher specs and determine how useful they are and how easy they are to use.
What You Should Know About Buying a Dishwasher:
People on a budget shouldn’t have to settle for a “cheap dishwasher.” There are plenty of dishwashers that are both affordable and clean dishes well, but there are some other things to consider, as well.
The price of a dishwasher depends on a number of factors, including features and finish. When testing dishwashers at every price point, we consider value. Consumers can find a pretty powerful bang for their buck when shopping for affordable dishwashers. For instance, there are some budget-friendly dishwashers that clean dishes as well as models that cost twice or three times as much.
With affordable dishwashers, you shouldn’t expect the same number of features that you would find in the high-end dishwashers. Still, models in the lower price bracket can still have some of the features that you would find in the best dishwashers on the market.
For instance, most of the affordable dishwashers that we tested had either stainless steel tubs or hybrid stainless steel, not the plastic ones you would expect from a more affordable model. Typically, dishwashers with stainless steel tubs dry dishes better and are quieter than models with plastic tubs.
Additionally, all of the dishwashers we tested are Energy-Star certified. For people who are interested in how much water and energy dishwashers use, be sure to check out the Energy Star rating for a dishwasher to give you an idea of what you can expect your utility bills to look like.
To meet Energy Star requirements, some manufacturers have eliminated dishwasher heating elements, which in turn can impact drying abilities, especially with plastic items like Tupperware. Instead, manufacturers use different ways to dry dishes.
Whether it's accomplished with rinse aid, a built-in heater, a built-in fan, or another method, people should be able to expect their dishes to be dry, as well as clean. That’s why we penalize dishwashers when dishes come out wet during our testing.
Finish and Design
Buying a budget dishwasher doesn’t mean that you have to totally sacrifice finish and design.
The dishwashers we tested came in a number of finishes, including stainless steel. While you should be able to find a dishwasher that matches your kitchen setup and your other appliances, be ready to pay more money for any finish more sophisticated than black, white, and stainless steel.
While some of the dishwashers that we reviewed had control panels on their fronts, others were more sleek in their design, opting for top controls instead.
Built-in dishwasher vs. countertop or portable dishwasher
People who can’t afford a full-size, built-in dishwasher may want to consider a countertop or portable model.
The best countertop dishwashers cost less and take up less space than full-size units, which are about 24 inches wide. Because they’re smaller, however, they don’t wash as many place settings at one time. Portable and countertop models also don’t require additional plumbing beyond access to your kitchen faucet.
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
Julia is the Senior Scientist at Reviewed, which means that she oversees (and continually updates) the testing of products in Reviewed's core categories such as televisions, washing machines, refrigerators, and more. She also determines the testing methods and standards for Reviewed's "The Best Right Now" articles.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.